As the calendar turned from June to July the summer sports heated up on the local sports scene.
On July 4, some 135 registered runners from Griffin participated at the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta.
On July 7, former Griffin Daily News sports editor Jerry Gutlon passed away at the age of 56 from complications of a long-standing heart condition.
On July 10, the host Spalding County All-Star team opened the GRPA State Girl’s 14-and-under championship with an error-plagued 7-1 loss to the Augusta All-Stars. Spalding made six errors in all throughout the contest.
On July 11, the Rodney Risper-coached Spalding County All-Stars advanced to the finals of the GRPA State Girl’s 14-and-under fast pitch championship where they rallied from an 8-0 deficit to defeat Troup County 10-9 on a walk-off, two-run single by Erica Ponder at Volunteer Park.
The shot capped a tournament full of comebacks for Spalding, which opened the three-team, double-elimination tournament with an error-plagued 7-1 loss the night before to Augusta. Spalding then eliminated Augusta 6-3 early on July 12 to reach the finals where they rallied — in a game they trailed in 4-3 and that stood 5-all heading into the last inning — to defeat Troup 9-7 in a game that ended with Spalding pitcher Cleopatra Randolph retiring the last batter with the bases loaded.
On July 14, Griffin Country Club record holder (62) and 1992 Griffin Classic champ Stephen Keppler fired a 6-under par 66 to take a one-stroke lead at the 18th annual Griffin Classic, a local PGA Section event.
On July15, Seth McCain followed up an opening-round 68 with a second-round 69 to win the 18th annual Griffin Classic at the Griffin Country Club by a stroke over Chris Dixon. Another stroke further back tied for third were Trey Kent, 2000 Classic champ Sonny Skinner and 1997 and 2006 Classic champ Tim Weinhart.
A trio of golfers tied for the low local. Included in the group were Griffin City Golf Course head pro Charlie King, rising Spalding High junior Henry Mabbett, the 2009 GHSA Class AAA co-state champion, and rising Spalding High freshman Carson Willis, the 2009 GISA Class AA state champion at Griffin Christian as an eighth grader.
On July 16, former Spalding High kicking and punting standout Brett Upson is named to the Coaches Preseason All-SEC team for his duties as a punter at Vanderbilt. The senior was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week twice as a junior, the same season he was named Music City Bowl MVP.
The same day the Faith Christian Academy football team was in the midst of summer camp.
On July 17, Spalding High golfer Henry Mabbett Jr., playing in the Georgia-South Carolina Challenge Match in Sunset, S.C., scores a point for team Georgia.
The same day the Griffin Gators swim team scored 675 ½ points to take a commanding 155-point lead over its nearest competitor the nine-team annual Griffin Invitational at the City Park Pool.
On July 18, the Jonathan Dunn-coached Griffin Gators swim team put the finishing touches on a 254-point victory to win the annual Griffin Invitational for the third year in a row. The Gators accumulated 1,610 points in all during the two-day, nine-team meet — the team’s lone home date of the season.
On July 19, the Spalding County Thunder was recognized for winning its seventh consecutive GRPA 40-and-over men’s state slow-pitch softball championship earlier in the month.
On July 21, rising Spalding High junior golfer Davin White shot a 77-72--149 to place second at the Georgia State Golf Association’s 36th annual Junior Sectional Match.
On July 28, the Griffin Christian football team hit the field for preseason practice.